The 10,000 coronavirus random tests that were launched yesterday island-wide will show the way forward on how to address the pandemic, members of the Ministry of Health`s scientific committee have said.
They also said that the virus transmission rate in Cyprus is between 1.6 and 2, meaning that any person infected can transmit the virus to up to two people. The goal of the epidemiological team is to achieve again a drop of that rate at below 1%.
Members of the Ministry of Health`s advisory scientific committee Dr. Leondios Kostrikis, Professor of Molecular Biology at the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Cyprus, and Dr Zoe-Dorothea Pana, Lecturer at the European University Cyprus gave a press conference on Thursday, during which they announced that the scientific team will be meeting every week to assess the situation and give recommendations.
They also stressed the need for everyone to observe measures of hygiene and social distancing, noting that these are our weapons against the virus until a vaccine is found.
Kostrikis said that during today`s meeting with the Minister of Health, they raised the issue of young asymptomatic persons, noting that the new outbreak observed in recent days mainly affects this group of people, between the ages of 40 to 45.
He pointed out that they must be vigilant and take measures not to spread the virus, noting that it is a matter of time for these people to transmit the virus to older people.
Regarding the measures taken at the airports, Kostrikis said that there is always room for improvement. Until today, he said, 27,000 passengers have been examined in the framework of random tests at the Larnaca and Paphos airports. The tests, he said, are carried out on passengers of all categories, and pointed out that through this strategy the health authorities have identified positive samples even from category A countries.
The random checks at Cyprus` airports are higher compared to other European countries, he said.
In her statements, Dr Pana said that in the last 15 days there is domestic transmission of the virus, as 70.6% of cases are related to domestic infections and the rest are infections that were either detected at the airports or had a recent travel history.
She urged the public to observe the measures of personal protection and physical distancing.